How To Backup and Restore WhatsApp Chat History

obr2By Sharon Hurley Hall06 Jan'15 2014-09-19T10:00:51+00:00Google+

There are more than 400 million active users of WhatsApp, an instant-messaging service that has revolutionized how we communicate which each other. So, what’s the big deal with it? Well, compared to older services such as iMessage or BBM, WhatsApp is a platform independent way to communicate with other cellphone users on any variety of smartphones. And since it works either via Wi-Fi or an existing data plan, the cost is ultra-low (sometimes even free). 

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The service features group messaging, voice messaging, video messaging, Geo-location and the ability to send images — the app is supported across Android, iOS, Windows Phone 8, Nokia devices and even Blackberry.

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Since it’s a must have tool for any smartphone user, accidental deletion, theft, loss and damaged are all common occurrences everyone should guard against. However, rest assured that we’ve got your back when it comes to backing up the apps’ chat history. Most of these tips are based on the Android version of WhatsApp, but unless otherwise stated, should work for all versions and across most platforms.

Enabling Automatic Backup

WhatsApp takes backing up messages very seriously, and does so automatically at 4 A.M. everyday by default. Users are free to customize what time their backups are done, over which network (WI-FI or data) and can even do an immediate backup at anytime.

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If something happens and a restore is in order, simply reinstall WhatsApp and it will find the backed up messages from a device’s SD card and bring them back to life during the re-installation process.  A message will pop up offering to restore the latest backup. Just click away on restore and all should be fine.

How to Backup and Restore Manually

Maybe an older set of messages needs to be brought back to life some time in the future, if that’s the case, do a manual restore. Be warned: a manual restore will overwrite more recent messages and those cannot be retrieved.

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According to WhatsApp, the best way to do save up-to-date messages is via a manual backup. Go to “chat settings” and look at the “backup conversations” section. This shows the last backup and tapping it will trigger a backup of the latest conversations. Next, use a file manager program and navigate to the Whatsapp/Databases folder.

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Find the latest backup file (called msgstore.db.crypt on Android) and rename the file for easier identification. Next, rename it to msgstore.db.crypt. Uninstall WhatsApp and reinstall it, then hit the restore button to undergo a normal restoration. The process is much simpler for iPhone and Windows Phone users.

Backing Up WhatsApp When Moving Phones

Backing up WhatsApp’s chat history from one phone to another generally only works within the same operating system. Which means it’s easy to move from iPhone to iPhone, or from Android phone to Android — but not so easy from an Android phone to an iPhone. Getting data back on a new device is pretty easy, simply insure the msgstore.db.crypt (or equivalent depending on the OS) is inside the new phone’s SD card, and follow the same backup procedure we’ve outlined above. (See detailed instructions on AndroidPIT.)

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But, what if the new phone sports internal storage only (like iPhones)? In such a case, transfer the folder that contains the backup file onto a new phone; using drag and drop; by connecting a phone to your computer via USB. Once the correct backup file is inside internal storage, simply install WhatsApp, it’ll once again automatically find the backup.

Also, the iPhone Backup Extractor and WhatsAppXtract apps can be used to extract and read WhatsApp chats on a computer, making said chats easy to read on desktops and freeing up precious phone storage space. Together, these two apps allow access to backup files, computer transfer and they read data backups.

Restoring WhatsApp On Different Phone Operating Systems

Here’s one final important tip. The creators of WhatsApp say:

You cannot restore chat history from any other phone type to Android, or from Android to another phone type.”

But that’s not strictly speaking — true. A service called WhatsApp Migrator allows people who are moving from an iPhone to an Android phone (but sadly, not the other way round) to bring their chat logs along with them.

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The Migrator tool requires an iPhone backup tool which creates an unencrypted backup, after which the tool is used to merge that file with the chat log on an Android phone. Finally, uninstall and reinstall WhatsApp and follow the normal restore process as always. 

WhatsApp has taken the smartphone world by storm and shows no signs of abating any day soon. Figuring out how to backup your chat history will insure important (and frivolous) conversations remain available if accidents do happen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Along the way we have found that there are common questions asked about WhatsApp, its restoration options and some general functionalities of the application. Here are the questions and answers. 

1. Which Exact Systems Does WhatsApp Work On?

WhatsApp can be downloaded, installed and used on the following smartphone systems:

  • iPhone
  • Android
  • Nokia S40
  • Nokia S60
  • BlackBerry
  • BlackBerry 10
  • Windows Phone.

At this time, no other devices are supported by Whatsapp.

2. Can I Transfer Chats Between Any of The Supported Phones?

Conversations can be moved from one iPhone to another and one Android to another. Special instructions can be found to transfer data on a Nokia S60 or BlackBerry 10. Unfortunately, Nokia S40, BlackBerry and Windows Phones cannot transfer chat data.

3. Are WhatsApp Messages Secure?

WhatsApp messages are encrypted in the cloud — so  they are safe as a cloud service can keep them. However, the app does not protect against other people viewing messages on your device. 

4. Are All Apple Devices Supported by WhatsApp?

WhatsApp runs on all iPhones running iOS 4.3 or newer. Logically, newer iOS version run more feature rich and less buggier version of the app. iPods and iPads however are not supported. 

5. What is Archive Chat?

This features allows one to hide a conversation from the original chats screen and access it later. Individual and group chats can both be archived. Archiving does not delete the chat or back it up to a media card.

27 thoughts on “How To Backup and Restore WhatsApp Chat History”

  1. Great tips. To move whatsapp history from android to iphone, I recommend another program called Backuptrans Android WhatsApp to iPhone Transfer. Hope it helps.

  2. chat history is delete by mistack perticular number. so how can i get that chat history backup for pertucular number?

    1. Since my whats app mistakenly deleted in my tablet phone,am traying to restor it back but could not.i need a help

  3. how I can retrieve messages which is before the backup process happen(example I directly deleted the chat history before 4 am which is before backup process )

  4. Whatsapp message history corrupt after reboot. i lost all my private chats, i have backup of whatsapp, how to recover the chats???

  5. Respected Sharon,

    I backup my whatsapp messages on my account on dropbox and now I have problems! Please, can you help me with restoring my whatsapp messages. When I installed whatsapp on my mobile phone Huawei/Android, i didn’t get any message for restoring automaticaly when I wrote my phone number! How come? Do you have maybe second solution?

    Best regards,

    Dragan.

  6. I am using Lumia 920 Windows Phone, and recently purchased Lumia 1520. How do I transfer my old whatsapp messages from Lumia 920 to Lumia 1520? I tried by connecting my Lumia 920 to PC, but the document folder seems to be empty. Thanks for your help

  7. I have nokia xl and I cannot run either whatsapp or whatsapp+. Whatsapp doesn’t open and whatsapp+ asks to install whatsapp n send conversation n then reinstall whatsapp+. Im totally stranded.

  8. In iPhone, when will a contact be seen in watsapp chat list? Without chating(send/receive) with a person, will the contact appears in chat list? Or if a user simply views a contact’s status from favorite list for certain times, will automatically add that contact to my chat list. Can any one answer me.

  9. While using whatsapp backing up messages displays… its taking too much time to back up exactly till what extend it’ ll carry on

  10. I deleted my chat contain a code and I want to restore but can’t Abel to do that by SD card, then what to do now

    Please help me

    1. Hello

      if two friends have two iphones but they share one icloud account , their backups will be different thus each one alone will have his own backup file on the icloud . My question is to restore the back up, is one of them able to restore the backup file of his friend to his iphone because it will appear in the icloud. thank you

  11. I deleted my account for a purpose but wen I start to use it again I wanted to back up my chary history but I didn’t get any history what should I do.

  12. Good article. Very logical.

    The only problem is that, in my experience, it doesn’t work.

    My phone’s display recently went permanently black (no more touch screen capabilities whatsoever). Through USB, I could see that there was a Database folder which contains the back up .crypt7 file on the phones internal storage AND another one on the SD card.

    On my older Android phone, I uninstalled and installed Whatsapp USB and it prompted me to restore the back up, which I did.

    On opening the application, it only contained messages already on the older phone. NO messages leading up to the back up file date were restored – not one!

    It would appear that it can’t restore messages not sent from or received on one phone on to another, which defeats the objective of a back up process.

    It should really be backing up conversations from the whatsapp server and restoring the same regardless of the client (phone) used.

    Comments welcomed.

  13. I have changed my phone and installed whatapp in new one without inserting sd card in it.so old chat history as not restored , plz tell me how to restore old chat history without loosing new chat

  14. Thank you so much for the tip.
    The ”
    Backing Up WhatsApp When Moving Phones”
    really helped me.
    Before I read the article I was trying the opposite.Put the Database folder after installing the app, but nothing.

    Thank you

  15. Hi ,
    my whatapps backup is stored in internal storage. How can i set it to store in SD Card.
    Im samsung note 4 user .

    Thanks and hope anyone can assist.

  16. hay… i want to know i have changed my cell phn and i want my chat file to new cell phn is it possilble & how…

  17. Im swaping from Galaxy s4 to lumia 535 so plzz tell me how to restore all msgs of whatsapp in lumia…
    plzz help me i’ve backuped my chat but how to restore on lumia i don’t know… plz help me…

  18. Just want to check if the whatsapp backup is at 4am daily. When I msg someone at 5am after the backup, these message which I post at 5am will only reflected at next day 4am?

  19. Whatsapp message history corrupt after reboot. i lost all my private chats, i have backup of whatsapp, how to recover the chats???

  20. Hi, I lost my whatsapp, how can I get it back with all the things on it. Please send and tell me how to retreive this I have pics and messages that i would like to get back. Thank much

  21. Nice, Well I have tried various ways, some are very long ways I tend forget all steps so I have to try again and again, I have found another possible shortest way to transfer WhatsApp Chat backup to other phone is by using Wifi transfer , its best like you can use various apps like SmartIO App, its best for WhatsApp Chat Backup Transfer.

  22. Thanks dude…It works…
    I have older backup file in my dropbox…I just replace it as u said…And on installation, i get back my all massages.

    Thanks once again.

    Umesh Patel
    India

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